PETA’S Work Leads Central Warehousing To Stop Gassing Rats For Aircraft

Agency Will Use Only Modern Methods to Test Airplane Fumigation Process


For Immediate Release:

13 April 2012


Benazir Suraiya +91 9004547382; [email protected]

Dr Chaitanya Koduri +91 8767446083; [email protected]


Mumbai – Following a series of meetings with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, and after receiving a letter from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) has stopped poisoning and suffocating live rats to test its airplane-cabin fumigation process. The CWC has confirmed to PETA and AWBI that it will no longer use live rats for this purpose, writing, “I can assure you that the use of live rat[s] for fumigation operations … has since been completely stopped”. PETA India first learned about the cruel practice through a whistleblower who also helped the group rescue one rat from Mumbai’s domestic airport.

“The CWC made the right decision to agree to use only modern gas-detection equipment to test its fumigation process”, says PETA India science policy adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri. “In the 21st century, there’s simply no excuse for leaving rats to suffocate and die for an archaic efficacy test – and the law agrees.”

As actor Jacqueline Fernandez says, “Rats may be small, but they are smart, social creatures who have the same capacity to feel pain and to suffer as a dog, cat or any other animal”. Rats have excellent memories and excel at learning and understanding concepts. Recent studies by neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp suggest that when rats play or are playfully tickled, they make chirping sounds that are strikingly similar to human laughter.

The CWC’s decision to end the use of live rats is in accordance with the guidelines of the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage in Faridabad, which state that gas-detection equipment – not live animals – should be used to test the effectiveness of fumigation processes, as well as The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which prohibits causing animals to suffer.

PETA’s correspondence with the CWC is available upon request. For more information, please visit